As in all cities, it’s important to remain alert as a tourist in Paris. The city has long been plagued with a pickpocketing problem — but this year Parisian police have a plan to help tourists.
The Paris police force announced that it will deploy an additional 5,000 policemen every day to protect tourists in seven highly visited areas around the city.
Visitors to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées, the Latin Quarter, the Opera House, Montmartre, the Latin Quarter, and the Châtelet transportation hub will see an increase in police presence this summer.
Police will patrol these areas through Sept. 30, specifically to target “the main threats to tourists,” according to Le Figaro. Bilingual police officers and French students of foreign languages will patrol the streets, offering help to tourists.
“Ninety percent of thefts that tourists suffer are from bag snatchers or street sellers, card sharks or people with fake petitions,” a senior Paris security official told Le Parisien.
Since the tourist protection force was launched on June 11, officers have arrested 24 people for street scams like fake petitions or three-card tricks and 333 people for illegally selling on the street, including trinkets like mini Eiffel Towers.
Pickpockets are especially rampant in the Metro, where they carefully time scams to escape train cars as the doors close. Travelers planning a summer trip should read the U.S. Embassy’s dedicated guide to avoiding pickpocketing scams in Paris to learn common techniques scammers use.